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iPhone Gets Smarter: iOS 18 Update Might Boost Neural Engine Performance by a Quarter

Apple’s latest software update, iOS 18, which is currently in beta testing for developers, might bring a significant boost to the iPhone’s processing power for artificial intelligence (AI) tasks. Early signs point to a potential 25% jump in performance, according to benchmark results.

The iPhone’s brain for AI is called the Neural Engine. This chip handles tasks that require machine learning, like facial recognition in photos, improved battery life management, and even the way your keyboard predicts what word you’re about to type.

These benchmarks come from Geekbench, a popular tool used to measure the performance of various devices. One developer ran the Core ML Neural Engine Inference Score test on an iPhone 15 Pro Max. This test measures how fast the phone can handle machine learning tasks.

With iOS 17.5.1, the last public version of the iPhone software, the iPhone 15 Pro Max scored around 6,249 in this test. However, after updating to the iOS 18 beta, the score jumped to an impressive 7,816. This translates to a roughly 25% improvement in performance.

It’s important to note that benchmark scores don’t always directly reflect real-world performance. The numbers might not tell the whole story. But a 25% jump is a significant increase, and it suggests that iOS 18 could make iPhones noticeably faster when it comes to AI tasks.

This potential boost could be due to a few reasons. Apple might have optimized iOS 18 to take better advantage of the A17 Bionic chip found in the iPhone 15 series. The update could also introduce improvements to the Core ML framework, which is a set of tools developers use to create machine learning apps for Apple devices.

Another possibility is a new feature in iOS 18 called MLTensor. This new tool allows developers to work with multidimensional data arrays, which are commonly used in machine learning. MLTensor might streamline how the Neural Engine processes information, leading to faster performance.

Even if the real-world improvement isn’t quite 25%, a boost in Neural Engine performance would be a welcome addition for iPhone users. Faster machine learning could lead to quicker facial recognition, smoother augmented reality experiences, and more efficient battery usage. Developers could also leverage this extra power to create even more innovative AI-powered apps for iPhones.

While the final performance improvements of iOS 18 remain to be seen, these early benchmarks offer an exciting glimpse into the potential of the update. With a more powerful Neural Engine, iPhones could become even smarter and more capable tools for everyday tasks.


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